NFL football is one step closer to returning to the Los Angeles area, after the Inglewood City Council approved plans Tuesday to build a football stadium that includes St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke as a partner.
The council approved the $2 billion plan with a 5-0 vote after a meeting with several hours of public comment and many vocal Rams fans wearing jerseys in attendance.
Construction on the project should begin “rapidly,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts Jr. told ABC News in an interview following the vote. The developer has agreed to pay for the entire project, including public improvements such as roads and fire hydrants near the stadium, Butts said.
“One hundred percent of the risk of the project is borne by the developer, 100 percent,” Butts said. “There is no scenario where the city can be out one dime.”
The vote adopts a new redevelopment plan without calling a public vote, effectively jump-starting construction and sidestepping lengthy environmental reviews of issues such as noise, traffic and air pollution.
It adds the 80,000 seat, 60-acre stadium to an existing 2009 plan to redevelop the former Hollywood Park racetrack site with homes, offices, stores, parks and open space and a hotel.
Kroenke is part of the Hollywood Park Land Co. development group that is promoting the project. But a plan is also in the works in St. Louis in hopes of keeping the team with a 64,000-seat stadium on the city's north riverfront.
While the deal does not include upfront tax money, the development group expects to recoup up to $100 million in local tax dollars in the first five years of operation, which would help defray some of the costs of improvements.
As the St. Louis Rams consider a move, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are collaborating on a proposal to build a privately financed stadium in Carson, California, that the two teams would share if they relocated to the Los Angeles market.
No NFL team has played in the Los Angeles market since the Raiders and Rams departed in 1994 -- the Raiders to Oakland, the Rams to St. Louis.
Butts said he envisions the stadium hosting a range of events.
“College football, the World Cup, championship boxing, the Final Four, there will be a number of events that will be glad to be in the newest stadium in the country,” he said.
The Associated Press and ESPN.com contributed to this report.